RESIDENTS could be charged to use tips across Hampshire.
The move was revealed yesterday at a ‘decision day’ held by Cllr Rob Humby, who is responsible for environment and transport at the county council.
He revealed that all 24 of the county’s household waste recycling centres would be staying open – including the one on Hayling Island which had been threatened with closure.
But he also said that he would be lobbying the government for a change in the law so residents could be charged to use any tip in the county.
Havant MP Alan Mak, who campaigned to keep the Hayling tip open, said he backed the move, which would make recycling centres more financially viable in the long term, and will urge other MPs to support a law change.
Cllr Humby said: ‘We welcome Alan Mak’s backing for a change in the law to allow councils to make a modest charge for access to HWRCs, in order to protect the service in the long-term.
‘At the moment it is not legally possible for local authorities to charge an access fee, but in our view a modest access charge is the only way to ensure a sustainable future for the service in Hampshire, given the scale of government funding reductions to come.’
Cllr Humby said the council was in talks with the government, but at the moment had no firm plans to bring in a fee.
Pointing out that there are four million visits to tips across the county each year, he added: ‘You will appreciate that a modest access charge could go a long way to maintaining the service.’
Tips across Hampshire definitely will see £2 fees brought in for non-county residents, and opening hours will be reduced. From January 2017, charges will also be made for non-domestic waste such as rubble, plasterboard, soil and construction waste – although the scale of fees is still being worked out.
Allison Wiltshire, from Hayling, started a petition to save the island’s tip which ended up with more than 6,800 signatures from residents.
She said: ‘Hayling tip staying open is great news for the island. The council has responded to our concerns, and this is a real victory for people power.
Mr Mak said: ‘Now the tip has been saved, I hope we will see even greater usage, more recycling and a crackdown on flytipping.
‘Hayling residents are rightly proud of the island and I encourage everyone to use the tip.’